Improved Bacterial Foraging Optimization Algorithm with Information Communication Mechanism for Nurse Scheduling

  • Ben NiuEmail author
  • Chao Wang
  • Jing Liu
  • Jianhou GanEmail author
  • Lingyun Yuan
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9226)


As a NP-hard combinatorial problem, nurse scheduling problem (NSP) is a well-known personnel scheduling task whose goal is to create a nurse schedule under a series of hard and soft constraints in a practical world. In this paper, a variant of structure-redesigned-based bacterial foraging optimization (SRBFO) with a dynamic topology structure (SRBFO-DN) is employed for solving nurse scheduling problem (NSP). In SRBFO-DN, each bacterium achieves cooperation by information exchange mechanism switching the topology structure between star topology and ring topology. A special encoding operation of bacteria in SRBFO-DN is adopted to transform position vectors into feasible solutions, which can make SRBFO-DN successfully dealing with this typical difficult and discrete NSP. Experiment results obtained by SRBFO-DN compared with SRBFO and SPSO demonstrated that the efficiency of the proposed SRBFO-DN algorithm is better than other two algorithms for dealing with NSP.


Bacterial foraging optimization Topology structure Nurse scheduling problem 



This work is partially supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants nos. 71001072, 71271140, 71471158, 71461027, 61262071), the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province (Grant nos. S2012010008668, 9451806001002294), Shenzhen Science and Technology Plan Project (Grant no. CXZZ20140418182638764).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of ManagementShenzhen UniversityShenzhenChina
  2. 2.Department of Industrial and System EngineeringHong Kong Polytechnic UniversityHong KongChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Educational Information for Nationalities, Ministry of EducationYunnan Normal UniversityKunmingChina

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